Brave Eagles miss out on Twickenham date

Oundle were beaten in the Senior Vase semi-final
Oundle were beaten in the Senior Vase semi-final
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Oundle’s hopes of making it to Twickenham were dashed at the last when they were beaten 31-23 by West Leeds in their RFU Senior Vase semi-final.

A large crowd turned out to support the club against a side who were beaten finalists in this competition last year.

And it was West Leeds who will get the chance to make amends for that loss at headquarters after they proved just too strong for the Eagles.

The hosts never recovered from a dreadful opening period which saw them fall 17-0 down with the first quarter of an hour.

Despite this, head coach Peter Croot remained hugely proud of his men.

He said: “We showed what desire and passion we have.

“This season has been fantastic and we are league and Midlands Vase champions - no one can take that piece of history away from all the players who have worked so hard.

“I think this side will bring more days like today to Occupation Road, and we will go forward on our journey with real confidence next season.”

Team manager Aly Kachra added: “We showed we are a league above and with this as a key learning point as we challenge new clubs next year.

“I feel we can develop a strong player base from within and keeping moving up. With our dynamic style and good social element we will attract more players who want to enjoy the success.”

Oundle bowed out of the cup despite a battling effort.

Their 17-point deficit proved to much to overhaul although a penalty from Craig Tandy and try by Toby Snelling pulled them back to 20-8 at half-time.

The game appeared to be moving further away from them as they slipped to 26-11 behind in the second half.

However, hopes were raised during a 10-minute period when they came right back into the game.

Robb Shingles scored after 65 minutes and Dan Page added another - converted by Tandy - on 74 minutes to bring them within three points.

But the dream was finally extinguished when a late score by the visitors put them 31-23 in front and on the road to Twickenham.